6 June 2024

Former leader of Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharat Party,Uttama Savanayana, is under heavy pressure from rebel MPs to call a general assembly of the party to elect a new executive committee.

Acting deputy party leader Mr. Paiboon Nititawan said, after a meeting of executive committee members today, that Mr.Uttama must schedule the general assembly for June 19th to 21st. Failing that, the rebel MPs will mobilize more than half of the party’s MPs to petition the Election Commission to call the general assembly.

At a separate meeting of MPs, chaired by the party’s chief whip, Mr. Wirat Rattanaseth, outspoken Bangkok MP Sira Jejjakha accused Mr. Uttama for not treating the party’s MPs with respect, citing the former party leader’s frequent absence from meetings.

Mr. Uttama and his two colleagues, Energy Minister and former party Secretary-General Sontirat Sontijirawong and Minister of University, Science, Research and Innovations Suwit Mesinsee,neither attend the meeting today, nor the meeting of the ex-committee members.

The executive committee, led by Mr. Uttama, was automatically dissolved, in accordance with the party’s regulations, after its 18 members resigned en masse on June 1st to pave the way for the election of a new committee and for General Prawit Wongsuwan, the party’s chief strategist, to be invited to assume the party leadership.

It is also speculated that the rebel MPs’ rebellion is intended to necessitate a cabinet reshuffle, to unseat the economic team, ledby Deputy Prime Minister Somkid.